The world today is undeniably uni-polar which is in fact brought forth by years and decades of competition in the past among countries aiming for global dominance. Specifically, the most recent of such would be the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. While the use of military force or the presence of actual battles are apparently lacking throughout the aforesaid war, both the United States and the Soviet Union are evidently engaged in a contest concerning technological and economic aspects.
Of course, throughout history, more violent wars have occurred for achieving greater dominance and expanding the reach of a nation’s control and influence. At present though, it is irrefutable that there only a single superpower exists throughout the world, the victor in the Cold War, which is the United States. However, while some may perceive this as an irrelevant matter to discuss, it is quite obvious that the presence of a single superpower amidst the ensuing process of globalization has a myriad of associated concerns and repercussions and thus change is needed.
As noted beforehand, there are a number of issues involved in having only a single superpower today. To further expound upon the current global status of United States, it would be necessary to point out that its economy contributes to roughly one fourth of the global GNP. In effect, the United States may express its control and influence over international concerns through military, economic, and even implicit power.
Having unparalleled military prowess allows the aforesaid nation to handle and be involved with global issues independently; however, a direct detrimental effect of such military capabilities and actions is that global views assume a stance that the United States merely desires other nations to follow its ways. As noted beforehand, aside from military powers, the United States may also express its dominance and control through economic might. In particular, aside from having manipulative potential in both the IMF and the World Bank, the United States may also prevent or limit trade with other countries.
Not being able to establish economic ties with the United States or with American firms, which contributes to the largest portion of the global economy, would detrimentally affect nations. Lastly, implicit powers are also present as the American thought becomes the universal basis of perception and evaluation. Due to the unrivaled power of the United States and its evident capability to influence the outcome of global issues and concerns, other countries without such potential eventually succumb into state of powerlessness.
As expected, powerlessness does not entail positive thoughts as terrorism and doubts regarding the course of globalization manifest as the most concerning repercussions of such. Hence, multilateral institutions have been established to alleviate if not complete resolve such problems involving various nations. Regardless of the appropriateness of the goals of such multilateral institutions to maintain order worldwide, doubts as to whether the aforesaid goals are achieved in an unbiased manner are existent.
For example, the WTO, having leaders from affluent nations, is believed to be driven by the opinions of those from more capable nations as well as America. Similarly, the IMF is also branded in a negative manner as critics have noted an over generalized approach in resolving the concerns of highly diverse nations, leading to ineffective outcomes. Even the appropriateness or the rationale behind the act of giving loans to developing nations has become a basis for doubt and dispute. Possibly, a shift from being a uni-polar to a multi-polar world would be the most ideal solution to the aforesaid problems.
As a matter of fact, while the United States is at present the only superpower in the world, it is undeniably that certain nations also hold the potential to reach such status. Specifically, the European Union, Japan, China, and the United Nations are among the countries considered to be most likely to become superpowers in the future. Regardless of such, while transitioning to a true multi-polar world would be beneficial, it is still impossible at present. Thus, the IMF have opted to take up the task of eliminating doubts and maintaining order internationally through the pursuit of aiding countries which are in need of financial support.
A specific example of such would be the support given to Indonesia, Thailand, and Korea for endeavors focused upon achieving economic stability and establishing reforms. Furthermore, more than 30 billion US dollars have been allocated and spent for the aforesaid purposes which have been acquired through both multilateral and bilateral sources. IMF’s programs for developing countries, specifically in terms of structural reforms, encompassed means to lessen depreciation, enhance the financial system, eliminating economic aspects detrimental to financial growth, and establishing a proper fiscal policy.
It is quite evident that while the formation of other superpowers in the future is indeed a possibility, it is still irrefutable that the United States is still at present the most notable nation across all international domains such as politics. In particular, American maintains economic dominance through the presence of materialism as well as consumerism which have been also known to positively affect the economy of other nations as the businesses thrive from meeting the demands of the population. Furthermore, economic stimulation through the aforesaid societal trend is also supported by the presence of free trade and democracy.
Nonetheless, even though criticisms are present regarding the dominant mindset embodied in the American nation and its global impact, it would still be expectable that even the American public have been affected by an imperialistic manner of thinking; not providing a response to global concerns have become an unacceptable course of action to take for Americans. The role of the United States in resolving international concerns only highlight the lack of ability among regional authorities to accomplish such. Therefore, in order to ensure that globalization unfolds in its truest sense, multilateralism in without doubt vital.